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What's The Difference Between Sativa vs Indica

Hempco LogoHempco Admin
5 Mins. Read

There are dozens (if not hundreds) of different strains and varieties of cannabis. However, they can all be broken down and categorised into three recognized cannabis species. They include; Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis.

The most common species are Sativa and Indica. Due to the ease of restriction on cannabis, more people are willing to learn about it. Are you confused as to what makes Sativa different from Indica?

Don't worry, you're not alone. Let's explore the answers together and get to the bottom of this once and for all....

Sativa Plant

The Sativa plant grows in equatorial and tropical regions characterized by high heat and humidity. This species of cannabis is a tall, slim plant with slender light green leaves. The plant can be differentiated through its size and height.


Each plant is about 12 feet tall and leaves with a finger-like width. Cultivation and maturation of the Sativa plant take about 12 to 18 weeks.

Another characteristic feature of the cannabis Sativa plant is its THC and CBD composition. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is highly responsible for the psychoactive effects of Sativa in consumers.

The high percentage composition of THC in Sativa explains their contribution to suppressing anxiety and depression. More so, they are natural energizing plants.

Note: Sativa plants are best consumed during the day due to their active feeling. Night consumption of Sativa leads to insomnia and increased heartbeat, putting the body at a disadvantage.

The typical cannabis Sativa are Durban Poison, Acapulco Gold, and Panama Red.

Indica Plant

The plant is cultivated in low tropic regions. Broad leaves and short stems characterize Indica. In addition, the Indica plant takes a shorter period to reach full maturity, about 8-10 months.

An exciting feature of the Indica plant includes low THC composition and high CBD. Indica plant is consumed chiefly for its relaxing effect on the body. More so, it helps in relieving pain and insomnia. Common strains include Afghan kush, Granddaddy purple, and the Hindu Kush.

Note: Cannabis indica is best consumed at night due to its relaxing effect.

Aside from Indica and Sativa plants, there are other species of cannabis that producers have found more exquisite. These species include Hybrid cannabis and Ruderalis.

Hybrid Cannabis

As the name implies, they are distinctive plant species derived from a combination of Sativa and Indica plants. Hybrid cannabis is mainly grown to attain a combined effect of Sativa and Indica strains. The hybrid cannabis plant takes the size and height of the dominant parent strain, the same as the duration for fertilization.

Sativa vs Indica Plant

Examples are- A train wreck, Blue Dream, and Pineapple express.

The significant benefit of cultivating hybrid cannabis is its improved THC composition. However, each plant possesses an average composition of CBD.

The combination of these strains gives hybrid plants their energizing and metabolic effects. More so, they may help reduce the impact of radiation and chemotherapy.

Note: They can be consumed at any time of the day, depending on their purpose and effect.

Ruderalis Cannabis

Cannabis Ruderalis is the third recognized species of cannabis. People are not very excited about ruderalis, as it is the least discussed strain. We can attribute this to its less potent effects and action in the body.

They make up for their negligible effect in fast germination. They possess low THC and high CBD, which is still insufficient to boost their potency.

Due to this characteristic feature, ruderalis strains are mainly cultivated with Indica or Sativa strains. Therefore, they are best consumed as hybrids to produce the desired effect.

Difference Between Sativa and Indica Plant

The first difference between indica and Sativa is the maturity period. Sativa plants take a longer time to mature than indica. Another significant difference is the size of the plants. Sativa species often grow taller than indica.

Additionally, the leaves of Sativa are thinner and spread out like when you spread your fingers. On the other hand, indica have bigger and broader leaves.

Sativa and Indica Plant

Another significant difference is the biochemical components that interact with brain receptors. The primary active compounds in cannabis are THC and CBD. THC is responsible for the “high” feeling reported by consumers.

Cannabis sativa has a higher concentration of THC than it does CBD. Therefore, it may produce a feeling of “high” and euphoria. In addition, it may be useful in dealing with pain and insomnia.

However, some individuals may experience anxiety after consuming the Sativa strain. In addition, Sativa has a stimulating effect on the body and may improve focus.

On the other hand, indica has more CBD than THC. Although THC is often described as a psychoactive component, CBD can alter moods. Therefore, indica may be an excellent alternative for anxiety and psychoses management. In addition, indica strains are great for relaxation and stimulating the appetite.

Choosing between Indica and Sativa 

Deciding the best Indica or Sativa plant for consumption is an important step that most people often ignore. Unfortunately, this has led most consumers to make poor decisions that have affected their health. Here are some tips that would aid your decision in selecting the best cannabis product.

Medical Record: This is a crucial and essential factor usually exempted when choosing cannabis products. Past medical records prove the body's risk and products to boost body activity. As medicinal as cannabis products are, if not consumed carefully subject the body to health disorders. 

Purpose of consumption: Each cannabis plant contains different compounds that affect its body. Hence, it is advisable to consume cannabis products that are vital to the present state of the body. It is essential to understand what mode of consumption works best for you. Method of consumption either can be by smoking or mixed with edibles. 

Body tolerance: The human body has a different tolerance for compounds. Therefore, it is vital to understand tolerable components in cannabis products before consuming them. 


Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica have varying properties. Therefore, they exert different effects on the body when you consume them. Additionally, they are distinct physical variations in both plants.

However, many people have discovered that a hybrid strain suits their needs better. So, before you choose to consume any strain of cannabis, study the biochemical components to ensure it aligns with your needs.